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Getting Feedback on Your TOEFL Speaking

In a past post, I told you about ways to get feedback on your TOEFL Writing. Magoosh also sometimes gets requests to rate students’ recorded TOEFL Speaking responses. This is not something we’re really set up to do. We’re a small company, and we unfortunately don’t have time to hear and score TOEFL Speaking responses from all of our students.

There are quite a few different services that can rate student writing online. Getting your speech rated over the web is a little harder. The technology for receiving and playing voice files is more complicated. Sending truly useful corrections over the Internet is similarly difficult. Examples of ways to improve writing can be sent back to a student in writing. But it’s a lot harder to show a student how the sound of their English should change in a written message. And example sound files to the student is— again— more difficult than simply sending a written reply.

Still, there are a number of online resources for getting feedback on your TOEFL Speaking. ETS will score your speaking online through their TOEFL Practice Online service. A single practice Speaking section currently costs $22.95.

If you decide to go through ETS, though, your Speaking response won’t be scored by an actual human being. Instead, ETS’ automatic SpeechRater computer program will give you an estimated score. SpeechRater can give accurate predictions of your speaking score under the right circumstances. Unfortunately, SpeechRater isn’t especially accurate when it analyzes responses from lower-level students who are working on improving their speaking ability. So unless you’re already pretty good at TOEFL Speaking, this probably isn’t the service for you.

On the actual TOEFL exam, your speaking will be scored by a person, not by a machine. So it’s best for you to get human feedback on your practice speaking too. Free feedback on your speaking can be found in a lot of online TOEFL forums. In fact, many of the same forums that give Writing feedback also let you show your Speaking to fellow forum members. Urch.com seems especially good for this. And the GMAT Club’s TOEFL Forum has a conversation thread that helps people find online speaking partners for TOEFL practice.

Ultimately, it’s probably best to get speaking feedback from an experienced ESL tutor who’s knowledgeable about the TOEFL. English speaking skills can be tricky to master, so there’s just no substitute for live help from an expert. It’s best to carefully find a tutor that you either meet in person or online. Language tutoring websites such as Myngle and iTalki can set you up with online TOEFL Speaking tutors. General academic tutoring sites such as InstaEDU and Wyzant can be a good source of online TOEFL Speaking feedback as well.

It’s a good idea to get both Writing and Speaking feedback as you prepare for the TOEFL. While getting Speaking feedback will probably take more time and cost a little more money compared to writing feedback, it can be well worth it.

 

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